Home safe and sound and I can happily report that my garmet bag was right where I left it, in my bedroom, fully packed. I may have left my luggage at home but I have now have a nice new suit, dress shirt, dress shoes, socks, tie, tie clip and several casual articles of clothing.
An important lesson learned, when you type the words “mall” “men’s clothing” and “chicago” into a search engine, you really need to be more specific about your desired location. I did get to learn the highway and toll road system in and around Chicago as well as its outer suburbs. Unlimited mileage on a rental car is a beautiful thing. Thank the Lord for GPS.
As desired, I exercised the opportunity to be “here and now” for my family. Here and now meant giving my sister-in-law a sounding board as she attended to the seemingly endless details that accompany the death of a spouse, gladly playing chauffeur and picking up arrive family members from the airport, taking my niece dress shopping and later my nephew suit shopping; it meant being there as boxes and chests were opened which contained my brother’s most treasured items; it meant speaking on behalf of the family at my brother’s memorial. In the end, just being there was more than enough. Again thank-you for your many thoughts and prayers.
As I also mentioned in my last post, new challenges awaited upon my return. My kids quickly engulfed me in school and extra curricular activities, work layered more than enough back on my plate as all were eagerly awaiting my return, then there was my Dad.
I took Dad to the cardiologist within days of my return. The Dr feels an existing problem may indeed be worsening. More tests and several more appointments as pending to determine the nature and extend of the problem. He reconfirmed a previous discussion he and I have had. If it is what we suspect, there aren’t a lot of treatment options. Still not a crisis, no hospitalization needed but I became more aware of the symptoms my dad has been having and had to actively fight the sensation that I was standing by watching yet another loved one die.
In the course of getting my Dad ready for his appointment and transporting him, the facility staff asked him who was I? Dad looked up at me and said, “that’s my friend….”
You could look at that negatively and think how sad that he didn’t recognize his son. But what son wouldn’t want to hear his Dad describe him to others as “his friend.” (I just realized that my favorite nickname for my son is “Paisan”) I don’t think I’ve ever heard those words from my Dad before. I proudly carry them now.
I’M MY DAD’S FRIEND!